Dan Phillips mortgaged his house in 1997 to start his construction company, Phoenix Commotion, and pursue his dream of using wasted construction materials and other objects bound for the landfill to build affordable homes for low-income families.
In this video, MSNBC takes a look at at the "Bone House," one of 14 homes Phillips has built in Huntsville, Texas. The home is not only embellished with bones lining places like the staircase and counter-tops but has a variety of other unique, artistic features, like floors adorned with bottle caps and champagne corks, and a bathroom covered in mirrors from floor to ceiling.
According to the New York Times, 80% of the materials used in Phillips's creations are salvaged from other constructions projects and plucked from trash bins or curbs. Phillips uses new materials for things like plumbing, wiring, and structural necessities. He also hires unskilled labor, taking them under his wing and providing them with valuable skills for future employment.
The 750-square-foot "Bone Home" is only estimated to have cost $26,000 to build. According to Phoenix Commotion's website, while the construction company is for profit, they are partnered with a Houston-based non-profit, Living Paradigm. They host The Phoenix Fund, which provides money to build the homes, and once the homeowner secures a mortgage, it pays back the fund. The Phoenix Fund accepts donations HERE.
"I decided to set out to prove that you could make a reasonable living building for the poor using recycled materials and only hiring unskilled labor," Phillips tells MSNBC.